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Publicity and media

Publicity is free promotion for your sports club, most commonly obtained through the media. When done well, it can bring many benefits to your club. However be aware that you have no control over what form the publicity takes.

How to get publicity

Get to know local media
Get to know the local journalists who write the sports sections for the free newspapers or report for the radio stations. Find out what they’re interested in covering and how you can give them the information. Check their deadlines and requirements.

Attract attention

The media is more likely to publish or broadcast news or human-interest stories that will appeal to their audience. Check the local papers and listen to the radio to find out what types of articles interest the editors, readers and listeners. Work out ways to make your information more interesting. Find an angle that will attract attention. Examples are: three sets of twins in one team, a celebrity is opening your fundraiser or your sport attracts singles keen to socialise.

Send media releases

Media releases are the standard way of providing information to the media. Journalists and news rooms receive hundreds of media releases every day.

Essential guide to the perfect media release

Catriona Dixon - journalist, The Daily Telegraph

Presentation

  • Must be typed on letterhead
  • Identify it as a media release on the top left
  • Date it top right
  • Use a catchy headline
  • Use one side of the paper only and keep to one page when possible
  • Check for spelling and typos

Information

  • Who, what, when, why, where and how?
  • Short paragraphs. Clear sentences. Use layman’s terms
  • Your first paragraph is short and punchy. It is the story in a nutshell
  • Provide news angles (ie focus on what is news – check your local paper for ideas.)
  • Use present tense and active language
  • Include important facts and statistics but don’t overload
  • Use quotes to support your release
  • Have someone proof your release

Contacts

  • Provide a contact telephone, mobile, fax and email for more information
  • Make sure the contact person is available and returns calls promptly

The media

  • Identify the media you are targeting
  • Take time to find out how they prefer to receive information (email/phone/fax) and what their deadlines are
  • Don’t be pushy, instead willingly provide information and be prepared to assist the journalist in their pursuit of a story
  • Follow up your release with a short phone call: “Just wanted to ensure you received our release and let you know we are available to help you in anyway possible
  • Develop a relationship with the journalists you regularly deal with.

Catriona Dixon’s sample media releases

The Daily Telegraph sports writer shows how media release content can differ depending on what is being promoted.

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